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Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit

A World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Injuries, Violence and Accident Prevention

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On February 19-20, 2020, leadership from the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit joined representatives from more than 140 countries for the 3rd Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety in Stockholm, Sweden. The conference, organized by the World Health Organization (WHO), minister-led delegations, and the Government Offices of Sweden, featured important meetings and discussions with multidisciplinary road safety leaders from around the world.

JH-IIRU Director Dr. Abdul Bachani, along with Drs. Connie Hoe and Kent Stevens collaborated with ministers, senior officials, researchers, and private sector leaders to take stock of where the field is, discuss successes as well as challenges, and chart a way forward to reduce the toll of road traffic crashes.

“Our time in Sweden for the 3rd Global Ministerial Conference was incredibly important and a great indicator of future progress for the field of global road safety,” said Dr. Bachani. “Over the last few days, our team was able to connect with a wide array of passionate, hard-working experts across industries, share ideas for global road safety, and listen to others build upon the inspiring, lifesaving efforts already being implemented at an international level.”


A Royal Welcome

To open the 3rd Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety, His Majesty the King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden welcomed participants to Stockholm. In his remarks, His Majesty acknowledged the tragic reach of road safety challenges in Sweden, Europe, and across the globe, as well as linking the issue to other critically important issues, such as climate change, health equality, poverty, and human rights.

The Youth Are Our Future

Omnia El Omrani, co-chair of the 2nd World Youth Assembly for Road Safety, greeted attendees shared a deliverable from the proceeding event: the adoption of a Global Youth Statement for Road Safety, representing thousands of young people who demand safer and more sustainable roads and cities. Furthermore, El Omrani emphasized the stakes behind the conference with a compelling declaration.

Leadership in Action

In the parallel session, “Improving the Behaviour of All Road Users,” Dr. Bachani provided expert input on the concept of Vision Zero, as well as the importance of road safety laws and regulations, enforcement, and public and private sector cohesion and collaboration. With the help of additional speakers – featuring leadership from the Global Road Safety Partnership, National Road Safety Agency, International Road Federation Global, UNITAR, and TomTom – Dr. Bachani showcased existing road safety laws on key risk factors and identified actions necessary to reach Global Road Safety Performance Targets.

The Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU), along with collaborating organizations from around the world, is pleased to join Bloomberg Philanthropies as a partner in its reinvestment in the Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS). The six-year plan and commitment of $240 million by Bloomberg Philanthropies through 2025 expects to save an estimated 600,000 lives and prevent as many as 22 million injuries in low- and middle-income countries.

Through the plan, Dr. Bachani and the JH-IIRU team will support evidence-based programs in up to 30 cities to address the death and disability from road injuries. The Unit will implement and oversee the collection of risk factor data to support implementation of road safety programs in these cities, monitor compliance to strengthened legislation, and implement the Global Road Safety Leadership Course, among other roles.

“We’re thrilled to extend our partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies and improve global road safety through this investment,” said Director Dr. Abdul Bachani. “Since the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit and others first teamed up for this initiative, we’ve prevented more than 300,000 deaths and as many as 11 million injuries across the world. This additional support is a testament to Bloomberg Philanthropies’ commitment to save lives at a global level, and we look forward to our role as part of this effort.”

Since 2010, JH-IIRU has partnered with organizations such as the Global Road Safety Partnership (GRSP), World Health Organization (WHO), and World Bank on the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ road safety initiatives across 10 countries (Brazil, Cambodia, China, Egypt, India, Kenya, Mexico, Russia, Turkey, and Vietnam) to save lives and reduce serious injuries from traffic crashes. In total, the JH-IIRU team and its national partners conducted some of the first studies to understand and monitor the status of road safety risk factors. To date, the team has collected over 7.34 million observations on risk factors like drink driving, speeding, seatbelts, and helmet use.

Bloomberg Philanthropies, in 2014, announced its next commitment with BIGRS, further utilizing its network of partners such as JH-IIRU to focus on 10 selected cities (Accra, Ethiopia; Accra, Ghana; Bandung, Indonesia; Bangkok, Thailand; Bogota, Colombia; Fortaleza and Sao Paulo, Brazil; Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Mumbai, India; and Shanghai, China) across the globe. Through BIGRS, JH-IIRU conducted eight rounds of observational studies over five years surpassing 10 million observations. --- parts of this could be blended in the above paragraph.

Furthermore, in 2016, and with support from Bloomberg Philanthropies, JH-IIRU and GRSP jointly implemented the Global Road Safety Leadership Course. The program, which aims to enhance effective leadership capacity to optimally address road safety in order to reduce deaths and serious injuries around the world, has been held seven times in Baltimore, Maryland -- near the campus of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public health -- and around the world, through regional offerings. More than 400 participants from 60 countries have attended the course, and the next offering will be held in Baltimore later this year.

To learn more about Bloomberg Philanthropies’ reinvestment in global road safety, please click here.

Dr. Abdul Bachani, Director of the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU), will be in Geneva, Switzerland on October 29-30, 2019 for the 28th UN Road Safety Collaboration (UNRSC) meeting. Dr. Bachani joins road safety experts and collaborators from around the world.

While in Geneva, members of the UNRSC will participate in critical conversations on global road safety and also prepare for the 3rd Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety held in Stockholm, Sweden on February 19-20, 2020. A member of the High Level Consultative Committee, Dr. Bachani and JH-IIRU have been closely involved in preparations for the conference.

 “This week’s meeting here in Geneva is a precious opportunity to convene with colleagues dedicated to addressing the global road safety landscape,” said Dr. Bachani. “In this short amount of time, we aim to take significant steps forward within injury prevention as we approach future sustainable development goals and global performance targets.”

Experts from the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU) and the Global Road Safety Partnership (GRSP) will co-lead a two-week training course on road safety from September 8 to September 20, 2019, in Baltimore, Maryland.

The course, which is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, will include 65 participants from more than 30 low- and middle-income countries around the world. Set at the Delta Hotel by Marriott Baltimore North, the course builds leadership capacity to design, advocate for, and implement effective road safety programs and policies.

“We’re thrilled to host this year’s course here in Baltimore with dozens of road safety and public health professionals from across the globe,” said JH-IIRU Director Dr. Abdul Bachani. “Since 2016, we’ve organized road safety leadership offerings and each course is an opportunity to both teach and learn from inspiring advocates. We look forward to helping to shape the next generation of global road safety leaders.”

Course instructors – comprised of JH-IIRU faculty and international colleagues – will lead sessions on a number of key subjects, including urban design, economics, behavior change, and enforcement. Participants will also embark on site visits to Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety for additional presentations and hands-on course applications.

Throughout the 10-day offering, participants will also work together in small groups to apply lessons learned and prepare for formal presentations during the final day of the program.

For daily updates, follow #GRSLC2019 on Facebook and Twitter starting with the course’s orientation on Sunday, September 8.


Participants from the 2018 Global Road Safety Leadership Course attend Cultural Night at the National Aquarium.

Leadership and faculty from the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU), and international partners led a one-week road safety course on the campus of Universidade de Fortaleza (UNIFOR) from August 5-9, 2019. The course, “Implementing Effective Road Safety Programs: Translating evidence to practice for road safety,” invited more than 70 participants from 20+ different cities in Brazil to gain training on the most important aspects of road safety through theoretical and practical sessions tailored for the Brazilian context.

JH-IIRU Director Dr. Abdul Bachani, along with core JH-IIRU faculty Dr. Andres Vecino Ortiz, and partners at the Global Road Safety Partnership and UNIFOR, based the course off of the twice-annual Global Road Safety Leadership Course (GRSLC), which builds leadership capacity to design, advocate for, and implement effective road safety programs and policies.

“This past week here in Fortaleza has demonstrated the investment the city and its local and regional leaders are making to improve road safety,” said Dr. Bachani. “The passion our Brazilian participants have in making their communities better, safer places is inspirational. We look forward to seeing this group apply lessons learned in the course in their day-to-day work.”

With sessions on everything from risk factors and leadership principles to successful cases of multisectoral action for road safety, the comprehensive curriculum sought to generate evidence-based skills and knowledge to the local and regional leaders in road safety, so they can improve design and policies in their own municipalities and departments.

Site visits – to such locations as roadside police checkpoints, bus rapid transit system, and local children’s hospital – provided participants with real-world applications of course content. Also, throughout the course, participants were divided into smaller cohorts for group work, before delivering final presentations at the conclusion of the course.

A number of GRSLC alumni reunited with course organizers. Luiza Amorim (GRSLC 2017), Omar Jacob (rGRSLC 2018), Dante Rosado (GRSLC2017), Flavio Cunto (GRSLC 2018), and Andre Correia (rGRSLC 2019), all led sessions during this offering, demonstrating the real impact that the Global Road Safety Leadership Course is having on creating leaders in road safety.

“It was marvelous,” said Correia, Enforcement Coordinator with the Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety in Fortaleza. “We got to share the same [road safety] problems, but even better, we looked for solutions together. We are in a globalized world, we need to find those solutions together.”


JH-IIRU Director Dr. Abdul Bachani presents during the one-week road safety course in Fortaleza.

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